At the Haemophilia Scotland event in the Scottish Parliament last April, Alex Neil MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, announced that there is to be a scoping exercise looking at what it is like for people in Scotland who live with Hepatitis C.
The study will not only focus on health issues such as the side-effects of treatment for Hep C,but also more general factors like financial consequences (for example, insurance), and other areas of life that might be affected including: relationships, social stigma, employment and access to welfare benefits or other supports.
The project is being managed by the Scottish Infected Blood Forum on behalf of the Scottish Government. Haemophilia Scotland is fully involved by having a place on the Project Reference Group.
This group allows for expert advice and influence on the way the scoping exercise progresses. A questionnaire is being developed which will be available soon. It is hoped that as many people as possible who are infected or affected by Hep C will take part.
While not wishing to raise any false expectations in these times of austerity, the results of the scoping exercise will be used by the Scottish Government to guide its thinking and plans for making provision to meet the needs of Scottish citizens affected by this serious viral infection.
When the questionnaire is available, Haemophilia Scotland will do its part to promote the scoping exercise and encourage people to have their say so watch this space.